In order to be granted Swedish citizenship, you normally must have lived here for at least five years. However, not all the time spent here is included, it depends on the type of residence permit and the purpose of the stay. All permanent residence permits may be included. Time-limited residence permits for doctoral studies may now also be included as they can lead to permanent residence, but only if it is stated that you intended to stay in Sweden after completing your studies. In addition, the Swedish Migration Agency examines what you have done during your period in Sweden, i.e. if you have taken various measures aimed at settling here.
You may also count time you resided abroad if you were a state employee in Sweden and posted to another country.
Regulations concerning your residence intention, i.e. whether you stated your intention to stay in Sweden after completing doctoral studies, in SULF’s experience, has created a lot of reflection and frustration. There has been a widespread misconception that, in order to obtain a residence permit at all, you could not indicate that you wanted to settle in Sweden after your doctorate. This regulation disappeared in 2006 after which, without risk of rejection of application, it was possible to state that you intended to settle here after completing doctoral studies. In order to avoid misunderstandings and out of date information, SULF always recommends direct contact with the Swedish Migration Agency to ensure that you access updated information.
If your intention is now to stay in Sweden and this is not apparent from the information that your residence permit is based on, SULF’s advice is to notify your change of intention to the Migration Agency as soon as possible. This can be done even before you have a permanent residence permit.
If you have already obtained a permanent residence permit and/or have applied for, or wish to apply for, citizenship our advice is that you state in your application that you have received incorrect information. Enclose any documentary evidence you have that indicates that you received incorrect information. If you in fact always intended to stay in Sweden, state supporting evidence of this statement and claim that all your time in Sweden should be considered as a basis for citizenship. Also report the measures you have taken in order to settle here. Factors considered here include whether you lived in your own residence (not necessarily that you own it), that you have learned Swedish, that you applied for work in Sweden or that you have a Swedish driving license. Then, the Swedish Migration Agency examines your application based on this.
SULF can make no comment on how the Migration Agency will assess your application and what underlying documentation will be required because, as far as we know, this is not finally established. If your application is refused, you may appeal to the court. In this process, SULF can provide advice and support to SULF members in a pilot case, in order to get a fundamental legal decision on this issue.
In a judgment, the Migration Court has stated that, when assessing an application for citizenship, an overall assessment must be made. The fact that you, in a previous application form, stated when you intended to leave Sweden is not permitted to be the only reason for not granting citizenship.